Facts about Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.
Lymphocytic Leukemia, an acquired disease with unknown causes, affects the circulatory lymphocytic white blood cells found in the body's immune system and can be subdivided into Malignant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, most commonly occurring in children between the ages of two to five years old, when white blood cells continuously multiply in bone marrow and metastasizes to other organs, and B-Cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, the most common type of all leukemias, with a potential time course of many years.
Studies indicate there are more than 17,000 new cases of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, one of the four main forms of leukemia, that will develop each year, with an estimated 85,700 cases of patients living with, or in remission from the disease, in the United States. The exact cause of the ailment remains unknown and may occur in more than one member of the same family. Some patients expire within three years of contracting Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia; however, they may live as long as five to ten years after developing the disease that begins with mutations of one single lympocyte, then multiplies, and replaces normal bone marrow and lymph node lymphocytes throughout the body.
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia may be detected through physical examinations, lab tests, blood tests, bone marrow tests, blood cell counts, lymphocyte counts, Flow Cytometry tests that examine CLL cells, immunoglobulin blood level tests, bone marrow aspirations, and bone marrow biopsies.
Some Doctors prefer to begin their patients who have Low Risk Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia with the "Watch and Wait" treatment method that does not include immediate use of drugs, chemotherapies, or monoclonal antibody immune proteins, to allow them to avoid the many potential side effects of these treatment options until they become necessary, and will continue to monitor their patients with each office visit.
Side effects of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia may include such things as constipation, diarrhea, body aches, hair losses, infections, anemia, low blood pressure, low platelet counts, low white blood cell counts, shortness of breath, swollen lymph nodes, swollen spleens, mouth sores, Pallor, reduced amounts of oxyhemoglobin in the skin or mucous membranes resulting in a pale color of the body, Petechiae small red or purple spots caused by broken capillary blood vessels hemorrhaging through trauma, coughing, or crying, Hepatomegaly--enlarged livers; abdominal discomfort, mucocutaneous bleeding, fevers, chills, night sweats, and localized or generalized Lymphadenapathies that may result in swollen or enlarged lymph nodes.